VG Siddhartha death: The last rites of CCD owner VG Siddhartha will take place at his father's estate in Karantaka's Belur. The cremation is expected to happen at around 6:30 pm.
A political war of words has erupted in Karnataka after coffee king VG Siddhartha's alleged suicide. Referring of Siddhartha's last letter to CCD employees and its board, the state Congress unit had said "harassment by the I-T officials" had resulted in a decline in the country's "entrepreneurial position". The BJP's state unit slammed the party for being opportunist and asked it to "display some humanity".
The body of VG Siddhartha, the owner and founder of the largest coffee chain in India, Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), was recovered around 6:50 am on Wednesday morning. He was missing from the Nethravathi dam site in Karnataka since Monday evening. The tycoon's body was recovered after 36 hours of frantic search on the banks of Nethravathi River.
Meanwhile, Coffee Day Enterprises has appointed SV Ranganath as the new Interim Chairman. The company has also appointed Nitin Bagmane as an Interim Chief Operating Officer. Taking cognizance of Siddhartha's letter relating to financial transactions outside the knowledge of the senior management, auditors and the board, the CCD board said while the authenticity of the letter was unverified, it had decided to investigate the matter.
Here are all the latest updates on CCD founder VG Siddhartha's death
4:17 PM: People throng ABC company office premises in Chikamangaluru to pay last respects to VG Siddhartha.
4:15 PM: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa arrives in Chikamangaluru.
3.18 PM: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee expresses condolence to the family members of VG Siddhartha. "I feel really sad to hear the news. I thought of sharing my feelings and thoughts with all of you," says the CM.
I express my deep condolence to the family members of Siddhartha. I feel really sad to hear the news. I thought of sharing my feelings and thoughts with all of you. (9/9)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 31, 2019
2.20 PM: Another listed company owned by VG Siddhartha, Sical Logistics' share has taken a similar beating like the CCD stock and fell to 20% lower circuit on both the days (Tuesday and Wednesday). VG Siddhartha held 0.68% stake in Sical Logistics as of June quarter. On Wednesday, the stock price of Sical Logistics fell as much as 20% to a fresh 52-week low of Rs 58.25 on the BSE.
2.07 PM: Taking cognizance of Siddhartha's letter relating to financial transactions outside the knowledge of the senior management, auditors and the board, the CCD board said: "While the authenticity of the letter is unverified and it is unclear whether these statements pertain to the company or the personal holdings of VG Siddhartha, the board took serious note of the same and resolved to thoroughly investigate this matter."
1.56 PM: The board will, in due course, prepare a detailed charter of authorities vested in the executive committee and approve the same. The executive committee will, inter alia, explore opportunities to deleverage the Coffee Day Group, says the company.
1.54 PM: The company says the executive committee comprising SV Ranganath (Non-Executive Independent Director), Nitin Bagmane (COO) and RRam Mohan will exercise the powers previously vested with the CEO.
1.49 PM: Coffee Day Enterprises has appointed SV Ranganath as the new Interim Chairman. The company has also appointed Nitin Bagmane as an Interim Chief Operating Officer.
1.44 PM: The Karnataka BJP hits out at the state Congress unit: "Opportunistic political vultures flocking in full force totally disconnected from the emotions of family members of VG Siddhartha. Investigation will revile the facts behind this tragic incident. Until then, respect the sentiment of masses & display some humanity if left with any."
1.17 PM: CCD stores to remain closed today. The company's offices, including Coffee Global Enterprises and Amalgamated Bean Coffee (ABC), will also remain shut, reported News18.
1.10 PM: At the site in the business tycoon's hometown, barricades have been set up as a measure of crowd control, reports Firstpost.
12.45 PM: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on VG Siddhartha's death: "'Ease of Doing Business' under BJP translates into 'Ease of Ending Business'. The VG Siddhartha tragedy reflects the worst of a broader, deeply worrying trend."
"Ease of Doing Business" under BJP translates into "Ease of Ending Business". The #VGSiddhartha tragedy reflects the worst of a broader, deeply worrying trend: https://t.co/9aeN6930Hkhttps://t.co/52ZmK3toDj— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) July 31, 2019
12.33 PM: Former Chief Minister of Karnataka SM Krishna leaves for Belur Taluk where last rites of his son-in-law VG Siddhartha will take place.
Karnataka: Former Chief Minister of Karnataka SM Krishna leaves from his residence in Bengaluru for Belur Taluk where last rites ceremony of his son-in-law VG Siddhartha, founder of Café Coffee Day will take place. #VGSiddhartha's body was found in Mangaluru, early morning today. pic.twitter.com/n2gfYML0Yy— ANI (@ANI) July 31, 2019
12.15 AM: CCD founder VG Siddhartha's autopsy has been concluded at the Wenlock Hospital. The body is now being taken to the family coffee estate in Chikkamagaluru.
12.02 PM: ICRA puts CCD on rating watch with negative implications: "The ratings have been put on watch with negative implication (revised from watch with developing implication) as the aforesaid development may have a negative impact on the operations of CDEL, the extent of which can't be ascertained as yet, given the nascent stage of developments," says the rating agency.
11.44 AM: Rithesh, the fisherman who spotted the body of VG Siddhartha, says he saw the body floating while he was fishing.
Rithesh, the fisherman who spotted the body of #VGSiddhartha today in Mangaluru and informed the police: I saw a body floating while I was fishing, informed the police. I participated in the rescue operations with the district administration yesterday as well. #Karnatakapic.twitter.com/NtVZr0LXqD— ANI (@ANI) July 31, 2019
11.42 AM: Cafe Coffee Day stores across India remain shut over owner VG Siddhartha's death on Wednesday, reports TV 9 Kannada.
11.41 AM: CCD founder VG Siddhartha's body will soon be taken from Wenlock District Hospital to his native town Chikkamagalur.
11.38 AM: Congress MP Manish Tewari has given Adjournment Motion Notice in Lok Sabha over "Harassment by Income Tax officials led to VG Siddhartha's death".
11.36 AM: "I am indirectly related to VG Siddhartha. Excellent human and brilliant entrepreneur. I am devastated with the contents of his letter. The Govt Agencies and Banks can drive anyone to despair," says fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya.
I am indirectly related to VG Siddhartha. Excellent human and brilliant entrepreneur. I am devastated with the contents of his letter. The Govt Agencies and Banks can drive anyone to despair. See what they are doing to me despite offer of full repayment. Vicious and unrelenting.— Vijay Mallya (@TheVijayMallya) July 30, 2019
11.17 AM: CCD Share Tanks 20%: Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises plunged 20% for second straight day after Coffee Day Enterprise MD and Chairman VG Siddhartha's body was recovered from Netravathi river on Wednesday morning. He was missing since Monday evening.
11.14 AM: VG Siddhartha's mortal remains will be kept for public to pay their last respects between 2 PM to 4.30 PM. His final rights will be held in Chikkenahalli village in Ramanagara district of Karnataka.
11.07 AM: In a letter to the company's directors and employees, the Chairman of Coffee Day Enterprises VG Siddhartha said that he has "given up" in the face of pressure from one of the private equity partners to buy back shares. "I fought for a long time but today I have given up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares. A transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders led to me succumbing to the situation," Siddhartha wrote in his alleged last letter where his signatures are distinctly different from those on the annual report.
Four overseas corporate bodies hold substantial stake in Siddhartha's Coffee Day Enterprises with 4.72 crore, or 22.35 per cent, shares between them. Out of them, NLS Mauritius LLC holds the maximum 2.24 crore shares of the company.
11.06 AM: Senior Congress leaders DK Shivakumar and Ramalinga Reddy have reach former Union minister SM Krishna's residence in Bengaluru. Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa will also visit Mudigere Taluk to attend VG siddhartha's funeral.
11.04 AM: CCD was profitable for the past three years: On a consolidated annual basis, FY17, FY18 and FY 19 were profitable for CCD. Against losses totalling over Rs 395 crore between FY14 and FY16, CCD posted profit after tax (PAT) totalling close to Rs 185 crore in the next three fiscals. In fact, PAT had shot up 509 per cent year-on-year in FY18 to nearly Rs 49 crore. But the PAT graph has been pretty jagged on a quarterly basis ever since. From close to Rs 35 crore in the quarter ended March 2018, PAT dipped to the Rs 21-24 crore levels over the next two quarters before jumping threefold to Rs 73.51 crore in end-December 2018. In Q4FY19, it dropped back down to Rs 28.83 crore.
10.50 AM: Thoughts and prayers with family, says CCD board: "We are shocked by this development and our thoughts and prayers are in support of his family and loved ones. The Board is confident that the professional management of the Company and each of the entities in the Coffee Day Group and their respective leadership team, will ensure continuity of all business operations consistent with past behaviour," the company said in a statement.
10.40 AM: In his suicide note, VG Siddhartha apologised to his company board and the employees, saying he had failed as an entrepreneur. "I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me," read the letter. However, the signature in the letter appears to be done in a hurry and does not match with his signature on Cafe Coffee Day's annual report.
10.15 am: VG Siddhartha's mortal remains will be kept for public viewing at ABC office in Chikmagalur from 2 pm to 4.30 pm. After this his body will taken to Chetanhalli estate for last rites.
10.00 AM: As of June, 2019, nearly 76 per cent of VG Siddhartha-led promoter group's 53.93 per cent equity holding in Coffee Day Enterprises had been pledged, according to data shared with stock exchanges. The VG Siddhartha-led Coffee Day Enterprises, which is engaged in a wide range of businesses from coffee chain to logistics, hospitality and financial services, is a publicly-traded firm.
9.58 AM: VG Siddhartha's company is profitable and Coffee Day Enterprises' total tangible assets are valued over Rs 18,000 crore. Coffee Day Global Limited, that runs the coffee chain, has a footprint of over 1,600 stores with 54,000 vending machines and more than 500 express stores.
9.44 AM: VG Siddhartha's body might be shifted to his hometown Chikkamagaluru at 11am, suggest reports.
9.38 AM: Sringeri MLA TD Rajegowda on VG Siddhartha: "He was a little upset regarding the Income Tax torture, wanted to sell two-three properties to settle all the debts because he was having more assets than liabilities."
9:25AM: Former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy expressed his grief on VG Siddhartha's death. Kumaraswamy wrote, "I am shocked to hear the news of the death of businessman and close friend Siddhartha." With his death Karnataka has lost a great businessman, Kumaraswamy added.
ಉದ್ಯಮಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಆತ್ಮೀಯ ಗೆಳೆಯ ಸಿದ್ಧಾರ್ಥ ಅವರ ನಿಧನದ ಸುದ್ದಿ ತಿಳಿದು ಆಘಾತಗೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಕಳೆದ 25 ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತ ಸಿದ್ಧಾರ್ಥ ಅವರು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಕಾಫಿ ಉದ್ಯಮವನ್ನು ವಿಶ್ವಕ್ಕೆ ಪರಿಚಯಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಸಹಸ್ರಾರು ನೌಕರರಿಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಕಾಶ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಅವರ ನಿಧನದಿಂದ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠ ಉದ್ಯಮಿಯೊಬ್ಬರನ್ನು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡಿದೆ.— H D Kumaraswamy (@hd_kumaraswamy) July 31, 2019
9:20AM: Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister also expressed his condolence over the tragic death of CCD owner VG Siddharta. He said, "Very sad to know about the unfortunate death of Shri VG Siddhartha. His contribution to Karnataka & India through his entrepreneurship shall be an example & always be remembered".
Very sad to know about the unfortunate death of Shri. V G Siddhartha. His contribution to Karnataka & India through his entrepreneurship shall be an example & always be remembered.— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) July 31, 2019
My deepest condolences to Shri. S M Krishna and family members & well-wishers of Siddhartha.
9:14AM: The body of VG Siddhartha might be shifted to Chikkamagaluru around 11 am after the post-mortem.
9:10AM: Senior advocate and Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi also reacted to Siddhartha's death, he wrote, "#VGSiddharta is the man who formally made conversations over coffee a real deal among the aspirational class. RIP!".
#VGSiddharta is the man who formally made conversations over coffee a real deal among the aspirational class. RIP!— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) July 31, 2019
9:00AM: Family members and other relatives of VG Siddhartha have reached Mangaluru. The family will decide if they will take body of Siddhartha to Bengaluru (his home) or Chikkamagaluru, (his hometown).
8:50AM: Karnataka Congress called the tragic death of VG Siddhartha a very unfortunate event. The party wrote, "Result of harassment by IT officials & decline of India's entrepreneurial position turning virulent by the day, with Tax Terror & collapse of economy".
#VGSiddhartha case is very unfortunate.— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) July 31, 2019
Result of harassment by IT officials & decline of India’s entrepreneurial position turning virulent by the day, with Tax Terror & collapse of economy
Companies which flourished under UPA have been shut down with many people being jobless pic.twitter.com/rbwUymoM3B
8:45AM: Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa also expressed his grief over tragic death of VG Siddhartha. Yeddyurappa tweeted in Kannada language, "The death of former chief minister Shri SM Krishna's son-in-law Cafe Coffee Day founder and businessman Siddhartha has been a traumatic event. May the Lord have mercy on his family. May their soul find peace". (This text is translated).
ಮಾಜಿ ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಶ್ರೀ ಎಸ್.ಎಂ.ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಅವರ ಅಳಿಯ ಕೆಫೆ ಕಾಫಿ ಡೇ ಸಂಸ್ಥಾಪಕ ಹಾಗೂ ಉದ್ಯಮಿ ಸಿದ್ದಾರ್ಥ್ ಅವರ ಸಾವು ತೀವ್ರ ಆಘಾತ ಹಾಗೂ ಅಪಾರ ನೋವು ತಂದಿದೆ. ಅವರ ಕುಟುಂಬಕ್ಕೆ ದುಃಖ ಸಹಿಸುವ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಭಗವಂತ ಕರುಣಿಸಲಿ. ಅವರ ಆತ್ಮಕ್ಕೆ ಶಾಂತಿ ಸಿಗಲಿ. #OmShantipic.twitter.com/313VJ9lQ4F— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) July 31, 2019
8:40AM: Karnataka BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje expressed her grief at the tragic death of CCD owner VG Siddhartha.
A tragic end to the coffee King #VGsiddartha is really disappointing.— Shobha Karandlaje (@ShobhaBJP) July 31, 2019
My heart goes out to the family, friends & his well-wishers. He'll forever live in the heart & minds of thousands.
Indeed a great loss to country!#OmShanthi
8:36AM: On Tuesday, multiple teams of National Disaster Response Force, Coast Guard, Home Guard, fire services and coastal police scouted the waters under the Ullal bridge to look for VG Siddhartha, who was last seen near a bridge in Kotekar on the Nethravathi River.
8:32AM: Team of doctors have arrived at the Wenlock Hospital to conduct the postmortem of VG Siddhartha's body.
8:30AM: VG Siddhartha's body was fished out by local fishermen near Ullal from the Nethravathi river on Wednesday morning.
8:29AM: KTR Rama Rao, working president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi has expressed his grief over VG Siddhartha's death. KTR wrote,"Saddened & shocked at the way #VGSiddhartha ended his life".
Saddened & shocked at the way #VGSiddhartha ended his life. Had an opportunity to meet him briefly a few years ago; found him affable & gentle. RIP— KTR (@KTRTRS) July 31, 2019
Hope his family & friends at CCD find strength in this difficult time
8:25AM: Body of VG Siddhartha found near Hoige Bazaar beach in Mangaluru.
8:22AM: After 36 hours of search operation, VG Siddhartha's body was recovered from Nethravathi river today at 6:50 am.
8:17AM: Relatives have confirmed that the body recovered from Nethravathi river is of VG Siddhartha: Mangaluru MLA UT Khader.
8:04AM: In the last letter to employees, VG Siddhartha has cited "harassment" at the hands of the tax authorities as one of the reasons for fund crunch in his company Cafe Coffee Day.
7:59AM: Many top personalities of India Inc including Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Kunal Bahl have expressed their grief. Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl called Siddhartha 'an absolute gentleman' and said that he will always see his legacy as a very successful entrepreneur.
7:50 AM: VG Siddhartha's remains taken to Mangaluru' Wenlock hospital where postmortem will be conducted.
7.47 AM: In his letter, Siddhartha had said that he "failed as an entrepreneur". "After 37 years, with strong commitment to hard work, having directly created 30,000 jobs in our companies and their subsidiaries, as well as another 20,000 jobs in technology company where I have been a large shareholder since its founding, I have failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts," Siddhartha said in his last letter.
8:16AM: Relatives have confirmed that the body recovered from Nethravathi River is that of VG Siddhartha: Mangaluru MLA UT Khader.
7.40 AM: "We found the body early morning today. It needs to be identified, we have already informed the family members. We are shifting the body to Wenlock Hospital. We will continue further investigation," said Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil.
Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil: We found the body early morning today. It needs to be identified, we have already informed the family members. We are shifting the body to Wenlock Hospital. We will continue further investigation. #Karnatakapic.twitter.com/bViP94Mpit— ANI (@ANI) July 31, 2019
7.36 AM: As per local fisherman, they saw someone jumping into the river on Monday evening.
7.35 AM: Siddhartha's body was finally found around 6:50 am on Wednesday morning.
7.30 AM: The body of VG Siddhartha has been found on the banks of Nethravati River near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru.
Karnataka: Body of VG Siddhartha, founder of Café Coffee Day and son-in-law of former CM SM Krishna, has been found on the banks of Netravati River near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru pic.twitter.com/J1yDvK2COg— ANI (@ANI) July 31, 2019
7.15 AM: The tycoon's body was recovered after 36 hours of frantic search by the local authorities.
7.00 AM: VG Siddhartha's body was located and recovered by local fishermen.
Edited by Manoj Sharma